Almost exactly a year ago, on March 3rd 2011, Wales voted to give its National Assembly law making powers in 20 key policy areas.  Wales can now legislate independently in areas as diverse as economic development, agriculture, social welfare and tourism.  As the Welsh Assembly broadens its horizons, the legal profession in Wales is also looking forward.  Wolfestone, the Swansea-based translation, interpreting and voiceover specialist, works in partnership with a growing number of Welsh law firms focused on building reputations that transcend cultural and language barriers.

During the opening months of 2012 Wolfestone has completed projects in over 100 languages. The company’s translators are fully conversant with the French and Latin phrasing of the English legal lexicon, and have a sound working knowledge of the legal systems of the countries of the “target” language on each project. Respect for client confidentiality means all translations are stored on a secure server, with no possibility of unauthorised access.

Wolfestone Director Anna Bastek believes this combination of specialist skill and probity sets the company apart:

“We’re well aware that the slightest errors could have damaging consequences for our legal clients.  The fact that reputable solicitors return to Wolfestone time and time again is testimony to the standards we achieve. Whether we’re offering simultaneous interpretation, transcribing audio recordings or translating confidential documents, we correctly capture not only the letter but the spirit of the law”.

Wolfestone’s certified translations department has been a particular benefit to the many legal clients who offer immigration advice. Birth certificates, marriage certificates and letters of reference are translated and certified with a notably swift turnaround available where needed.  At every stage of the process, clients deal with professionals who understand the precision required for successful work permit or visa applications.

Recent reports on the inadequacy of courtroom interpreting have further highlighted the need for professionalism.  In 2011 the Ministry of Justice awarded a contract to ALS, an Oldham based translation company, making them the sole supplier of court interpreters for England and Wales.  The contract commenced at the beginning of February and already critics have claimed that many of the interpreters lack training and court proceedings are being held up as a result. The Professional Interpreters’ Alliance has stated that defendants are being forced to spend extra nights in custody because no one is available in court to translate for them.  Poor interpreting, or none at all, leading to uncertainty over what’s actually being said in court could open the door to appeals, miscarriages of justice and escalating costs for police and probation services, as well as solicitors. This offers a stark contrast to Wolfestone’s track record as a supplier of thoroughly vetted, professionally qualified staff.

Anna Bastek is proud of the standards Wolfestone upholds and eager to support Welsh law firms.

“It’s a common misconception that anyone who speaks a second language can be a translator or interpreter.  That’s like saying anyone who wears a pair of training shoes can run a marathon.  It takes a great deal of preparation and sheer hard work to do the job to a professional standard, and that’s what clients get from Wolfestone”.

These are interesting times for the legal profession in Wales. Assembly members are currently consulting on the implications of separate legal jurisdiction. The debate could conceivably lead the country towards a completely separate criminal justice system. Whatever the Assembly finally decides, Wolfestone Translation is ideally placed to help Welsh law firms communicate with absolute clarity to a national and international audience.

 

DAVID JONES

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